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Arts & Activities - Page 14

Sculptures by Molly B. Gazda O ur school district is supportive of its art program. Students experiment with clay by learning different clay techniques at each grade level. By the time they are in the eighth grade, students are able to manipulate clay into amazing works of art. Accordingly, challenging students to create an artist sculpture was quite rewarding and highly successful. Each day, students were working on new techniques or using different mediums; thus, they were committed and engaged throughout the process. Dali sculpture by Maria. THe “arT FaTes” Six famous artists with distinct facial characteristics were the focus of this unit: Salvador Dalí (mustache); Frida Kahlo (unibrow); Pablo Picasso (bald head); Keith Haring (wavy hair and glasses); Vincent van Gogh (cut-off ear); and Andy Warhol (crazy hair). Then, the “art fates” chose which student would study which artist. Simply put, each student blindly chose a slip of paper from a box, which revealed his or her artist. With this process being random, the “art fates” chose the match ups, creating a winwin situation. There are two assignments before students start working with the clay. First, they must complete a research worksheet answering questions about their artist. This research gives them a great deal of information and understanding of the artist, the artist’s style and the art work they created. 14 Picasso sculpture by Cassie. Haring sculpture by Julia. Second, they must complete a rough draft of what their sculpture will look like. Planning out the sculpture design lets them see what works visually, and gives them the opportunity to edit what doesn’t. Once approved, they can begin working on their sculpture. WOrKING WITH CLay To introduce the studio portion of the unit, I displayed several artistsculpture examples and showed slides of former students’ sculptures. This inspired the students and showed them a variety of shapes and designs. I then gave an initial demonstration of how to use the slab roller, cut the clay, use the paper templates and how to score and slip all the sides together. Finally, it was studio time! Students worked independently at their tables, moving around the room gathering tools, februar y 2013 • 80 years x

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